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Detailed documentation of the "World of Tomorrow" in beautiful Kodachrome.
This movie is part of the collection: Prelinger Archives
Producer: Medicus (P.)
Audio/Visual: Si, C
Keywords: World's Fairs: New York, 1939-40; Amateur films
Creative Commons license: Public Domain
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Subject: Jane Withers on down the line.
Ms. Withers was a pretty sucessful actress and made the transition to adult character parts later.
She was probably best known for her role as JOSEPHINE THE PLUMBER in the long running
TV ads in the 70's and 80's. She also acted
in the James Dean Elizabeth Taylor film GIANT.
The last shot of face on the Perisphere is that
of aprojected JACK O'LANTERN since I belive that
1st season closed on OCT. 30, 1939. I've seen B&W
photographs of this so-Iknow it's so.
Very cool. The baking part was nice :D
Subject: Captured moments of time
A beautiful,well preserved film showing the last week of the 1939 World's Fair held in Flushing Queens,NY. The color was excellent. I enjoyed seeing film actress Jane Withers(13 years old at the time). It was almost like going back in time.
Subject: the Good ol Days
....but, it shows how life was SO much simpler then...no celphones, no digital stuff, no hectic and chaotic life ... just simple innocence... and people being proud of being Americans ...
Subject: Facials! And DANCING CATS!!
This reel has lots, and not so much.. Lets begin!
We start again at the coke display, where supposedly, thereÃÂs bottling going on at nighttime. IÃÂd be suspicious of that claim. Poor guy has to look through a magnifying glass constantly looking for imperfections in bottles.. From there, we go to yes, a BAKERY! We get to see some baker roll out something, put them onto trays,. And take stuff out of the oven! WOO! We then see a curious barber shop using dummies. Not too sure what the whole point of that was.. The film then states, ÃÂUse a Ronson Lighter and this will happen to youÃÂ and then we see a vibrating dummy. Not 100% sure of what THATÃÂS supposed to mean. From there, we get an extended look at a water show, called The Story of Three Flowers, and actually itÃÂs quite well done, with the colors and the different range of water sprays. Four minutes later, we go to the main highlight of this section, a Mardi Gras Parade! They have floats of a cow.. and a 2 headed cat. Whoa. Not sure what thatÃÂs supposed to mean.. Boy is it windy! The parade starts with a band, the drummer looks WAY too enthusiastic.. Then we see an arrow to a ÃÂcomfort stationÃÂ (whatever that was), and a curious androgynous looking individual with a feather cap and white makeup on wearing a skirt. Whoa there! Then we clowns in cars driving right into us!! WHOA AGAIN!! So the fair starts (again) with pretty girls with batons leading the way and hoping they wonÃÂt get blown out of the way by the wind.. We see a band go by, various circus folk, a guy in a giraffe suit!! people imitating celebrities (ÃÂOliver HardyÃÂ looks happy to be there.. ÃÂCharlie ChaplinÃÂ not), the cow float, someone in an evil elf mask, clowns, a snake balloon, (actually, the people carrying the balloons are all dressed in clown garb, something which, I suspect, they werenÃÂt happy about), Another band with the balladeer TOO SLOW! Live elephants! Live camels! MIDGETS IN CLOWN COSTUMES RUNNING!! Some more dignitaries, some more clowns, an odd runaway vehicle, A horse and carriage, the 2 HEADED CAT BALLOON!! (why the cat has two heads IÃÂll never know) a penguin balloon and a fish balloon that GETS OUT OF CONTROL AND GOES INTO THE CROWD!! Whoa there! Then we have a visit by ÃÂJane Withers ÃÂ Hollywood StarÃÂ whoÃÂs fame quickly ended after she grew up. She arrives on stage rather confusedly. Then she is shown signing autographs. This is just slightly bizarre as she has a pad of paper and writing her name and handing it to one of the many frantic hands waiting to get it. Highly bizarre. Good thing they hired two nurses for crowd control! Soon she leaves in one of those Expomobiles, and sheÃÂs thrilled to be going, and I donÃÂt blame her. ThereÃÂs entertainers many at the fair, featuring a black group with a guy in a tutu, confused dancing girls, and and.. DANCING CATS!!!! YIKES!! And then, to cap it all off, a VERY strange show featuring costumed beings which I have no idea of what they are. LetÃÂs just move on.. We then have ANOTHER FOUNTAIN SHOW!!! Yes, this one is called ÃÂThe Spirit of the FountainÃÂ and this has FIRE! And FIREWORKS! Woo! We finish this off with a torchlight parade, and MedicusÃÂs camera being what it is, we hardly see anything, I could make out the ÃÂChinese guestÃÂ who, sensing it was too dark to see, has a hat that lights up, Jane Withers, being STILL carted around, and uh, 3 clowns that look far too close to the Tip Tops in Peppyland clowns, IÃÂd just rather forget about it actually.
Very VERY surreal reel. Some, uh, rather frightening imagery here!!! This is a MUST SEE on this site!!
Subject: What a PARADE!
I'm not even going to write out a shot list for this reel, just trust me. It's great. There is a giant, two-headed inflatable cat that looks like something out of Acme Comics Library.
This is one of those rare films in the archive that you can pin down to a specific date and time -- a little research in the New York Times revealed the following:
Fair's Last Week to Be a Carnival
By Sidney M. Shalett
Oct 23, 1939
"...At 4:30 P. M. at the Perisphere the 'Children's Hour' will begin. There will be a parade with clowns, bands, elephants, camels and an array of monstrous blown-up figures. The parade will be led by Jane Withers, child movie star, and Mickey and Minnie Mouse will walk behind her. The procession will march down Constitution Mall to the Lagoon of Nations, where the "Giant of the Lagoon" will break loose and put on a show for the children."
WAAAY too much fountain footage, but the Mardi Gras parade more than makes up for it.
Subject: Shot list
"Ladies see how a man bakes." - Continental Baking.
"Ye Olde Barber Shoppe and the chordee." - barbershop diorama.
"Use a Ronson lighter and this will happen to you." - laughing mechanical man.
"Color, water and flame Symphony "The Story of Three Flowers." - fountain show.
"Mardi Gras Week closed the 1939 Season of the Fair." - Mardi Gras parade with marching bands, cartoon ballons, and hobo clowns.
"The belly button girls fight Septembers blasts."
"Jane Withers, Hollywood Star, arrives for the ceremonies."
"Entertainers many." - dancers, musicians, costumed characters.
"At dusk, a special showing for the Kiddies, "The Spirit of the Fountain."
"At night, a torchlight parade."
"A Chinese representative."
"A facial for the Perisphere." - dim shots of a jack-o-lantern face projected on the Perisphere.
"End of Reel 5."